Bravo Taps Reality, Literary Fare

In what it calls its most ambitious programming slate to date, Bravo will premiere several new original weekly series, miniseries and event programs during the 2001-2002 season.

Bravo executives, previewing their upfront presentation to advertisers, said the network will debut several reality series including Stagestruck,
a six-part skein that debuts in July. Stagestruck
will focus on the lives and experiences of eight students who attend the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

The It Factor, a fast-paced "day in the life" series that starts in October, follows a diverse group of talented actors struggling to get their big break in New York City.

Also new to the Bravo schedule is Musicians,
a 13-part series featuring prominent musicians discussing their craft.

New network miniseries include Popular Song: Soundtrack of the Century, highlighting the top songs of the last 100 years; and new adaptations of the literary classics Nicholas Nickleby
and The Scarlet Pimpernel,Bravo said.

Bravo, a major sponsor of the U.S. tour, will also bring the popular Aeros show-which features members of the Romanian gymnastics team-to television in October. The network's slate of specials is also highlighted by the TV premiere of the Academy Award-nominated documentary Marlene, a satirical twist on the classic Cinderella tale starring Kathleen Turner, as well as Bill Wyman's Blues Odyssey,
featuring the ex-Rolling Stones bassist.

The new programs complement the network's recent off-network acquisitions of the series The West Wing
and The Larry Sanders Show.

"This is our most ambitious programming slate to date, and it builds on the momentum we have generated during the past couple of years," Bravo executive vice president and general manager Ed Carroll said in a statement. "It is in keeping with our mandate of presenting the biggest arts events and completely original series that reflect contemporary arts and culture."

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.